How to Embed Ball Chain into Crystal Clay

SKU VID-1588
Designer: Becky Nunn
Skill Level: Intermediate
In this video Becky Nunn of Nunn Design demonstrates how to make a ring by embedding ball chain into Crystal Clay. This technique can be used for many different applications, which Becky goes over in the video. This also works for many types of chain, including rhinestone cup chain.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
hi this is becky nunn with nunn design and i'm shooting on location here at beadaholique crystal clay which is an epoxy air dry clay and in bed rhinestone chain but we're gonna show ball chain and how you can use it in many different examples like you're seeing here all the way from a curb surface to an open back bezel another curb surface here it is on another curb surface you can even use it as little accents and embed things in these earrings some fun lapel pins up here showing how you can use them so it has all of the ball chain embedded in the crystal clay I even on the rings and non pendants for this video you're going to need some ring shanks we're gonna work on creating a project like this one here you can use even open back puzzles and I'll show you how to do that you can use itsy-bitsy little ones or even giant monstrous ones like this so you'll want to select some different bezels that you would like to work with you'll need some crystal clay this is a two-part epoxy clay and in the little kit it comes with the clay itself some gloves that you'll need to wear when you're mixing the clay and it also comes with a little toothpick applicator that has beeswax on it that makes it easy to pick up the items the crystal clay is a great product it allows you to work for up to two to two-and-a-half hours after you've mixed it and then it fully cures at 14 to 16 hours and there's no baking and there's no shrinking so this is a really great product for embedding we're going to be embedding some different scraps of ball chain I'm using the faceted ball chain and as you see I've already pinched off two equal sized balls to mix so the first step of this is we're going to clean our bezels the is just something that I've gotten in the habit of is always mixing my is always giving my bezels nice and clean before I actually put the epoxy clay in there or any resin in there it just helps the finished look be even better so all of these findings these are brass this one actually here the top part is cash LEDs lead-free pewter and then it's soldered with lead-free pewter onto a brass blank let's see let's go ahead and I'm gonna make this one here and I want that little open back bezel that I had earlier another one we're gonna use these two right here so this one is solid brass and after we have them soldered they're then plated with 24 karat gold 0.99 fine silver and then an oxidization is put on the outside on that plating to give it an aged look so I'm going ahead and just cleaning off that excess oxidization you can see that blackening that's coming up on my q-tip this is just a great step to get in the discipline of when you whenever you're working with the resins either the two-part epoxy resin or the two-part epoxy clay it's just to give the bezel a nice clean surface for those two surfaces those two items to stick to also when I'm working with the white sometimes this black comes off on my white clay so I just have the discipline of always cleaning my pieces first once you've finished put your rubbing alcohol away so on this piece here you can see that it has a backing like this what I found is great is to go ahead and put a small piece of packing tape as your beginning after a while you'll be able to just to put your finger on there and put that clay in there but for this particular one I'm going to go ahead and use a little bit of packing tape onto the back side of my bezel to hold that clay into place so cut off a little bit of the tape we just need a small little surface area and press it onto the back of your ring shank giving a nice solid surface I like to trim away any excess that I might have so that I don't have that snagging on other things all right so with my tape in position on the backside of my bezel and my bezels cleaned I'm ready to start the next step and that's going to be mixing my two-part epoxy clay so I've already pinched off the two equal sized balls other things I'll need for this is a pair of flush cutters because I'll be cutting the chain as I go along and a couple of toothpicks sometimes I might need those so when the epoxy clay is in this phase this is the resin itself it's a really good idea to always wear the gloves that come in the package of the clay when these are in its raw form once these two pieces are are mixed together fully the clay is then activated and then you can take off your gloves sorry I'm not wearing my gloves right now don't do is I'm doing so you blend these two together until they're no longer marbled and they'll be blended all together the crystal clay comes in many different colors this black that I use I use this quite frequently black brown and white because they just go great with the different colors or the findings that we have and I find that those are just really solid colors for all the different techniques that we offer this clay is super super moist and really really wet and as it's warming up in the room you can see that the black of the clay is coming off on my fingers that's the dye that's why it's nice to also wear the gloves because then you don't get that on your fingers once you've mixed your two parts together and it's no longer marbled and it's fully blended together spend a little bit time make sure that you get all of that off of your hands you should have had your gloves on so you'll pull your gloves off and if this is super moist you can let this sit for an hour or so at least 30 minutes and it'll get a little bit firmer and maybe easier to work with when when then when it's really super soft like this it's just really sticky but I'm gonna go ahead and show you how you do this next step on this smaller bezel here I only need a tiny bit of of the clay I pinched off a small ball and then I'm rolling it around in the palm of my hands with one of my fingertips making it a nice smooth ball then I'm gonna take it and place it into my bezel and I'm gonna take a look and I'm gonna have a really high dome I kind of want to have a slight dome as you see in the sample here it's not a very high dome just a very slight dome so I might have too much clay in there but let me just check it out nope I think I have it just right if you had too much clay you could pinch that out take that ball out and pinch them off and then roll it again and get it nice and smooth but I had just the right amount if you don't have enough you can add more to it and you just Pat it down into the bezel and I'm holding it so my finger is just on the ring shank so I'm pressing up from this side to make sure that that clay is going down into the surface of the bezel and will be nice and flush and flat then on the second bezel I'm going to go ahead I think I'm gonna have plenty of play I'm gonna roll this into a nice round ball in the palm of my hands and so it's easiest if there's not any creases in the clay and that's why I like to roll it first before I start patting this down I'm gonna wash my hands a little bit more because I have a little bit of that clay on my fingertips and I don't want to get that onto the surface of my ring shank or on my bezel because it will harden like cement once it's dried what I love about these techniques is you do have quite a bit of time to work with the clay before it starts to cure so I placed the ball in there and then I patted it down bringing it over to the side edges as you're seeing there and created a nice run a nice domed ball inside of the ring shank don't worry about getting it quite perfect because it'll move around a little bit as you go but you want to have it be somewhat like this alright so now we're gonna go ahead and start adding the the ball chain to the ring shank I have some gold remnants I like to save all my little bits and parts and pieces because I can use them for projects like this starting at the outside edge I'm gonna start out by just slightly pressing my rhinestone excuse me my ball chain right into the clay I'm not gonna want to push down too hard but I want it to be enough so it stays in in position now I'm gonna wrap it around the outside edge of my ring shank go all the way around to the next starting edge got a little fuzz on my finger from the wet wipe as I come around to where I started rapping I'm gonna use so I'm going to kind of get an idea of okay so I'm gonna cut about right there so I'm going to take my flush cutters and come inside and cut that little ball right there and place it into position now I'm going to use my fingers I'm actually going to bring this down a little bit closer to that edge all right now once I have my ball chain placed around that outside edge I'm ready to do the next layer in and you can get creative here you could mix your metals and do different colors of clay different colors of ball chanting mean you can mix it with other styles start off again the same way slightly tack it down at the beginning point and then continue to press it into the clay right next to the other ball chain same time same as last time when we right right when we get to the starting point of where this is going to start to meet up we're going to take our flush cutters and trim away that excess now if you cut way too long or way too short you can come back in and add a ball later if you want to let's say it's about right there and press it in now I'm going back in and I'm slightly pressing it down and tacking it into the clay but not too hard if you press it down too hard I'll kind of get all cattywampus at this technique is you can do this the first time and if you don't like your results after you've done all of this you can pull it out pull your chain off and start all over it's a very forgiving medium and your first one probably won't come out exactly as you're seeing it here a little bit of experience so the next one started off the same way embedded the first part just slightly tacking it down and now I'm wringing it around and laying it down right next to the last row that I did when you start to get to the very center point your chain is going to start to get to the point where it can't make that radius and so you'll need to lay in individual pieces into the clay let me show you instead of going all the way around and stopping you'll go around partial we might be able to make that one OOP I made that final last radius and I'll do it on the next one so I'm using the Nunn design faceted ball chain on this piece it's a brass ball chain that is then plated with 24 karat gold here in the United States and so it has a different it's plated differently it's much it's very very malleable so if you do use a different type of chain you might not have a easy time on the lady or so you just saw there so on this last couple of ones I'm just doing like two or three little balls worth and trimming that off and then embedding that inside of the kit for the crystal clay comes this little toothpick that has a little bit of beeswax on it and that can make it really easy for you to pick up the items and embed them in so that was three balls that I laid down down on that side make sure that's fully embedded this might be one of those times where you might want to use your toothpick to put it into position and I think we might do another like two balls on this side I'll start out with three and see what that looks like and then I might have to trim away some of that excess so I have three little balls words looks like I have one ball too many so I'm gonna go in and trim that one little extra ball off and there you have it now I'm gonna spend a little time just making sure that all of that ball chain is fully embedded into the crystal clay and then it is fully adhered on to there and it's attached I'm also double-checking that my dome is nice and round the way I'd like it and then the last step of this is you're gonna use a wet wipe you're going to come in and make sure that all of that crystal clay is off of your ring shank and then you're going to gently wash the surface of your ball chain this one is much faster but you do the exact same steps with this one and then the last step on this is you're gonna do the same is you're gonna use your wet wipe to wipe away any clay that might have gotten onto the surface of the bezel or onto the chain make sure that the chain is fully embedded down into the clay now we're gonna let these pieces cure for 12 hours that clay will be rock hard and then we'll remove the tape off of the backside now that you have a good idea of how this was created you can see usually how this other these other items were done so once your pieces are fully embedded and you've let that cure for 12 hours you're ready to assemble them using other Nunn design beads charms hoops chain and you can create fun pieces like you're seeing here the only difference on these is how you apply the epoxy clay into the base of the finding on a curved surface and you can see a video of me making something very similar to this one and another one of the Nunn design videos here on beadaholique this is becky nunn with nunn design showing you how you can embed ball chain faucet faceted ball chain rhinestone chain into the Nunn design findings to create beautiful pieces like this using epoxy clay the crystal clay I hope you enjoyed it bye you

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